Book review: The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post



Publisher’s blurb:[1. Review copy provided by Curiosity Quills Press]

Kelly Driscoll tracks down monsters for a living, but the job isn’t what it used to be.
Vampire hunters are the new big thing, but Kelly doesn’t swing that way. When a reclusive client hires her to locate a rival angel, Kelly’s search takes her to a downtown highrise that has become home to hundreds of fallen angels and dimension-hopping monsters.
As the fallen angels take over the condo board, argue over who’s handling pizza delivery, and begin planning for a little shindig otherwise known as the apocalypse, Kelly must team up with an unlikely group of allies to find her target and keep the fallen angels at bay. In the process, she befriends a reluctant Angel of Destruction, gets tips from a persistent ferret, uncovers the mysteries behind Pothole City’s hottest snack food empire, and tries to prevent the end of the world.
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse is a light-hearted urban fantasy novel, combining angels, monsters and other supernatural elements with realistic characters and a comedic tone.

I…am not quite sure what to say about this one. I had a really hard time writing this review, because I want to say why it didn’t work for me, but I don’t want to give away huge chunks of the plot. Especially since the WTFery goes into overdrive in the last half of this thing, and from my experience most people don’t like it when I give away huge chunks of the end of a book.
But. I will try my best to explain why this left me in an ambivalent state of dazed confusion without giving away the ending. I will TRY. But be warned: this review may end up with a boatload of spoilers in it anyway. So if you’re planning to read this book and don’t want to know what happens, then read this review AFTER you’ve read the book. If you don’t care either way, then by all means, read on.
Continue reading “Book review: The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post”

Simple Biology.

There are a lot of things that could get in our way, post apocalypse, and perhaps the most simple one is ones that post apocalypse games, literature and comics rarely cover (perhaps cause it’s gross, perhaps cause it’s dull) and it’s a fairly simple one. Our basic biological needs.
Our needs to eat, drink, shit, piss and sleep(yes, I’m going to swear in this one. Are you honestly surprised?).
We have other biological drives as well- the need for sex, being the first one I think of – but most of those can be ignored when the danger is really intense. We can’t ignore the others.
Continue reading “Simple Biology.”

Did a drought contribute to the decline of the Maya civilization?

I came across an article titled “Global warming, drought likely lead to decline of Mayan civilization.” Now, word choice error aside (pretty sure the ancient civilization isn’t still declining) the title caught my attention, and I promptly saved it for later reading.
The article talks about the possibility of a drought/dry spell being the possible final nail in the Maya coffin (not global warming per se).
Let’s back up here a minute and look at global warming, the phrase. Global warming is:

an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change.
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

but, no, actually, it’s linked specifically to the greenhouse effect:

an increase in the average temperature worldwide believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect
(Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged)

but wait–it’s a general warming and a warming caused by the greenhouse effect?

An increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase great enough to cause changes in the global climate. The Earth has experienced numerous episodes of global warming through its history, and currently appears to be undergoing such warming. The present warming is generally attributed to an increase in the greenhouse effect , brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture. Expected long-term effects of current global warming are rising sea levels, flooding, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and stronger El Niños and La Niñas, drought, heat waves, and forest fires.
(The American Heritage Science Dictionary)

Continue reading “Did a drought contribute to the decline of the Maya civilization?”

Review: Bastion (XBLA)

“There’s like a kid who wakes up and everyone’s dead and the world is gone.” That was how my husband described Bastion to me.
“Ew.” Was my response. “That sounds terrible and sad and not like a game at all.”
“I guess I can see that. It is pretty sad… Meh, try it,” he said, handing me the controller.
I settled in and tried it.

Immediately I was sucked into the story of The Kid as narrated by the old man with a voice made for storytelling. The Kid and I had the same questions: What happened? Where’d everyone go? Where’d the world go? For the saddest premise in the world I jumped into Bastion feeling motivated and curious.
The controls were intuitive and the game was forgiving while I acclimated myself to my new surroundings. “The Kid just raged for a while,” The Narrator said, prompting me to move on from smashing all the boxes, objects, and general scenery as is customary in semi-similar action games. I found it easy to defeat my enemies as my ability was scaled proportionally with theirs. As the story unfolded and I learned about The Kid, Caelondia, and The Calamity that got us to the world as it is.  I fought slow moving enemies with slow weapons until I able to choose between brute force and speed. Eventually I was able to upgrade certain aspects of my gameplay using potions from the Liquor Store[1. It was called something more clever but it sold potion upgrades that were named to sound like liquor. eg.: Were Whiskey].
Your goal is to fight your way through The Wilds (levels) and collect Shards  to build up The Bastion, a mysterious situation that is the solution to the Calamity according to the narrator who clearly isn’t telling you the whole story.
The whole story is really what makes the game. While I was playing because it was a game I stuck with it because I wanted to  get to the end of the story– and I was the one who would get there. The Kid falls because I fall and he continues on because I continued on. Somehow Supergiant Games too that evocative part of books and movies and campfire stories and brought it to an action-adventure game.
All parts of the game worked harmoniously from the controls to the story to the design to the music[2. The music is unbearably AMAZING in this game. I normally don’t even notice but there were levels I didn’t want to finish for fear of never hearing the song again.] I was immersed.
I rarely finish games, I know “boo” “hiss,” I just get done playing before the game is done and if there isn’t enough of a story I don’t care if I don’t know how it ends. This game, I needed to know and I enjoyed playing. One of my few grips with Bastion was at one point I realized the forward motion of the story slight over shadowed the fact that it is in fact a video game: Once you complete a level you can’t go back to it. There was a level that I accidentally completed because the finish the level button and the attack button were the same and I happened to be standing by the exit… So i was done, never to complete that level to my satisfaction again until my second play through.
Overall, I would emphatically recommend Bastion as a game, story, or album.
[rating:4.5/5]
Check out some on the beautiful screenshots:

Book review: How to Make a Golem and Terrify People by Alette J. Willis



Book blurb from publisher’s website:[1. Review copy provided by Floris Books via NetGalley.]

“You think you’re a fairy godmother or something?” I asked.
“Or something,” Michael agreed.
Edda is tired of her nickname, ‘Mouse’, and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her twelfth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There’s something peculiar — and very annoying — about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem. But surely they can’t bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they?
Winner of the Kelpies Prize 2011.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I buy children’s books (middle grade and young adult) and use the excuse that I’m buying them for my kids. Seriously, my daughters are two and three and a half–they’re not exactly going to be cuddling with the Percy Jackson series anytime soon. But you bet your soggy winter boots in Alberta that I bought the entire set. I read them all, too. (Yes, I also have all seven Harry Potter books. Yes, I read them all. Yes, I’ve seen the movies. Well, except for the last one, the Blu-Ray of which is sitting on my desk somewhere.)
But in my defense, I’m just pre-screening these books for my kids. You know, for when they’re old enough to sit still for longer than thirty seconds and can actually read (not just recognize the alphabet and their names). Assuming they like fantasy. Because, um, yeah, that’s all I buy. (Ahem.)
When I was going through NetGalley the other day, the title “How to Make a Golem and Terrify People” jumped out and started waving its arms at me. Do you really think I can ignore a jumping golem? No, I cannot. So I requested the book.
And I loved it. I would’ve read it aloud to my kids if the giant, wailing mud-monster wouldn’t have scared the sleep out them. (Literally.) Unfortunately for me, the book is published in the UK and the print version is hard to find here (I read an e-ARC). Otherwise I would’ve bought a copy and saved it for the kidlets. (The only time I buy print versions of novels now is when they’re for my kids. If they’re for me, I get the e-book version.)
Continue reading “Book review: How to Make a Golem and Terrify People by Alette J. Willis”

Keeping the (post-apocalyptic) romance alive

With Valentine’s Day being last week and my post about the Love Machine app going up last Wednesday, I’ve been thinking about love and romance and relationships and all that other sappy stuff. And seriously, it’s hard enough keeping up with the romance now, in the pre-apocalypse, when we still have Hallmark and Godiva chocolates for those moments when we screw up.
It’s going to be really hard in the post apocalypse, when we won’t have any of those romantic crutches to help us out. So what are we to do?
I’m going to move forward from here assuming that you’ve already covered the basics. That is, you’ve found a love interest, you’ve gone on your first date, and you’re maintaining a healthy relationship. If you’re not doing these things, then this post can’t really help you, because chances are you don’t have a romance to keep alive. (Of course, I could be wrong, but that’s the general assumption.)
Continue reading “Keeping the (post-apocalyptic) romance alive”

Post-apocalyptic Reading — Impressions: THE JACKAL DREAMING by J.A. Caselberg

Book blurb, from publisher’s website:[1. Review copy provided by Musa Publishing]

A dark god is awakening and a young temple scribe holds the balance of the world in her hands.
Deep beneath the temple, young Tarith makes a discovery, one that will take her on a journey of learning and danger.  The Dreaming God is waking, and it is only Tarith who holds the balance of power within her hands.  Or is it?
Tarith’s journey will take her across vast lands and numerous encounters to try to restore the balance of power that keeps the world safe.”

I need to make a confession. I have not willingly gone out and bought an epic fantasy in a…well, in a long time. I’m currently editing a traditional fantasy (*ahem*releasesinApril*ahem*); you know, the kind with good wizards and bad wizards and lots of magic thrown around. I’m also editing two urban fantasies (ones that, thankfully, do not have any vampires in them whatsoever).
I haven’t read an epic fantasy in a long time. Probably because I’m a bit burned out on the repetitive UFs and I got tired of the whole genre.
But then! The lovely people over at Musa Publishing sent us this book for review. And suddenly I remembered why I like fantasy.
Seriously, this book was that good.
Continue reading “Post-apocalyptic Reading — Impressions: THE JACKAL DREAMING by J.A. Caselberg”

3 Things I really want to do post-apocalypse.

So, it turns out Tavia really wants to loot your house. I don’t blame her, you know.
I’m a pretty law abiding person, really. Not perfect- I know for a fact there are laws I’ve broken (I am not stupid enough to admit which ones in a public place) but in general I follow the law and have a positive opinion of the police.
However, I’ll admit there are a lot of laws and rules I keep to simply because I don’t want to get put in prison. 
When the Apocalypse happens, you’d better bet I am going to take the chance.
Continue reading “3 Things I really want to do post-apocalypse.”

The President of our post-apocalypse nation

Today, in America, it’s President’s Day. A day many of us have off of work so we can take time to reflect and celebrate… Well, we make sure to take time to honor… Okay, Wikipedia says:

Washington’s Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (sometimes spelled Presidents’ Day or President’s Day). As Washington’s Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states.

Titled Washington’s Birthday, a federal holiday honoring George Washington was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1879 for government offices in the District of Columbia and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices.

Today, the February holiday has become well known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day.
(SOURCE)

Washington’s birthday and a great day to buy cars on special, perfect.
In the past, we’ve written about what post-apocalyptic government might look like but never really considered what a post-apocalyptic attempt at normalcy might look like. If we desperately cling to our ideas about democracy and society at the end of the world until we can group together enough people to elect a local sheriff who can eventually police a local election, who would we vote for? Continue reading “The President of our post-apocalypse nation”

What's Better than Fallout: New Vegas?

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition with VIDEO! [1. anninyn knows what’s up.]

What’s Fallout, and where on Earth is New Vegas?

For starters, it’s a video game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and where bottle caps are currency and you… Well check out the official story:

Welcome to Vegas. New Vegas.
It’s the kind of town where you dig your own grave prior to being shot in the head and left for dead…and that’s before things really get ugly. It’s a town of dreamers and desperados being torn apart by warring factions vying for complete control of this desert oasis. It’s a place where the right kind of person with the right kind of weaponry can really make a name for themselves, and make more than an enemy or two along the way.
As you battle your way across the heat-blasted Mojave Wasteland, the colossal Hoover Dam, and the neon drenched Vegas Strip, you’ll be introduced to a colorful cast of characters, power-hungry factions, special weapons, mutated creatures and much more. Choose sides in the upcoming war or declare “winner takes all” and crown yourself the King of New Vegas in this follow-up to the 2008 videogame of the year, Fallout 3.
Enjoy your stay.
(source)

Fuck YES! Amiright or amiright? Don’t you want to be there? Play there? Maybe I’m just extra psyced because I have a Pip Boy bobble-head and lunchbox incorporated into my kitchen decor. Again, anninyn knows whats up.

What’s in this so called Ultimate Edition that makes it any better than the Blah Edition?

Ultimate Edition presents the definitive edition of Fallout: New Vegas – featuring the main game and all six pieces of game add-on content: Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier’s Stash, and Gun Runners’ Arsenal.
(source)

That’s like, at least, six extra missions.

Where is this video you speak of?!

Look out below:

Also, there are pictures: